Friends, it’s feeling more and more like we’re at a crossroads when it comes to things like the economy, the power corporations have over us, and how we can choose to spend our decreasing salaries as inflation and prices on virtually everything increase.
So, what can be done? What can individuals do against such things? Well, let’s talk about it.
[Insert that super dope intro you usually hear each week.]
Welcome back to Space Castle, your clubhouse for all things nerdy! My name is D.T., and I’m sick again for the second goddamn time this month! So, that might mean no audio episode this week as talking is painful, and drives me into a coughing fit. But I love you, and I still wanted you to have something from Space Castle this week, so here we are!
If it’s your first time visiting the new digs, I hope you like it! There’s links to podcast episodes, Youtube videos and other stuff here, so keep visiting!
Alright, let’s get to it. In the face of rising prices on everything, corporations flexing their greed in all new, blatant ways, here’s my suggestion: buy local, and buy indie.
News came out just recently that AMC (the national theater chain) has decided they’re going to roll out a system where the better seats in an auditorium are going to be sold at an up-charge, and the shitty seats in the first row and off to the side will be cheaper. Which is fucking horseshit.
AMC is a company run by morons. The company was already massively in debt before the pandemic even hit, and while it’s understandable for a company based on large public gatherings to be in serious trouble during a global pandemic, their handling of it has been absurd. Gimmicks and Hail Mary’s (including buying 22% of a gold and silver mine in Nevada) have driven them even further into debt, and made them something of a laughing stock.
The company narrowly avoided bankruptcy due to becoming an unlikely meme on Reddit. If you’re not familiar, Reddit has a very active and enthusiastic stock trading community and, for some reason, it became a funny and cool thing to create a bunch of buzz around AMC, drive up the value of their stock, and they killed $600 million of AMC’s debt almost instantly.
So, how did AMC repay all the people who saved the company from certain death in 2021? By turning around in 2023 and making their already average at best movie-going experience worse by fucking over their consumers with this bullshit pricing tier on seats.
AMC has thanked the movie-going public for saving them by now giving them the option to pay even more for a “good” seat in their theaters, even though they’re still plagued by loud attendees, cellphone usage, crying babies and tickets that already cost upwards of $12 (and they add a fucking “convenience fee” if you order a ticket online!).
So, what do you do? You start going to your local indie theater.
Indie theaters are great. I bet there’s more than one in your town, and I bet if you’ve never checked it out, you’d be surprised at how different the experience is. Yes, there are some bigger indie chains that have had their fair share of controversy and problems, but there are others, entirely independently owned, that live and die on a good, proper theater-going experience, and on repeat customers who come back because they got something more for their buck than just seeing the latest Marvel movie so they could talk about it on their podcasts that week.
Ahem. Our review of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is coming as soon as I’m healthy again.
And it doesn’t stop there! Instead of paying inflated prices on cookie-cutter, corporate-crafted goods, you can hit up Etsy and find something unique and wonderful for the person you’re shopping for. (If you wanted to get a get-well gift for your favorite podcaster, this would be a great option. Just saying.) And in doing so, you’re supporting an independent artist, and you’re giving a gift that’s hand-made and produced by someone with a passion, and that carries over to you being a better giver as a result. Some of the best reactions I’ve gotten from gifts came from Etsy products, made lovingly by someone just like you, trying to make ends meet and follow a dream.
Hit up your local farmer’s market! I can almost guarantee there’s one within driving distance, every week. Instead of paying Kroger for produce that you can never gauge the longevity of, head out and buy your fruits and veggies straight from the grower. Strike up a conversation with those folks. Go back whenever you need something, and become friends with people who have made it their mission to provide people with healthy, clean food at lower prices than corporations.
We’ve gotta do better about taking care of each other, and showing these corporations that we don’t need them as much as they need us. I’m not going to support AMC theaters again, after this vulgar display. There are better ways to turn your company around, chisel away at your debt and right the ship than immediately defaulting to exploitation and greed.
And what’s cool about indie movie theaters is that they always do revivals of old flicks, too. If none of the current releases do anything for you, see if your local indie theaters are showing older movies you might have missed the first time around, or were too young to have seen in theaters upon release. I’ve gone back and revisited movies I absolutely love in indie theaters, seeing them on the big screen for the first time, and falling in love with them all over again.
You can fall in love with green beans and apples too, when you’ve tasted them from someone who grew them with love and didn’t store them in a warehouse for who knows how long, before shipping them in a dingy truck long distance to sit uncovered in a grocery store display for as long as they can get away with.
The economy sucks. And it’s due largely to corporate greed because they expect us to follow routine and ease, rather than making an effort to support each other and break out of the cycle. It’s our money, and things aren’t going to get any better until we start deciding to make better choices with it.
And that’ll do it for this “episode” of Space Castle! Thanks so much for reading, and if you enjoyed perusing this soapbox grandstanding of mine, please share it with a friend! Next time someone calls you up and asks if you want to hang out, make it a point to support a local theater, a local brewery or restaurant, or some other way you can put your time and money into your community, rather than giving it to a greedy corporation that doesn’t give a shit.
My name is D.T., reminding you to take care of each other, and be good!
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